Switching IT career tracks: What to do when it’s time for a change
A large reason why people are drawn to Netflix, the movie theater or a sporting event every weekend is their need for entertainment and change. We seek such activities because we are looking for an escape from the mundane — and in many cases, nothing feels more mundane than the the oft-dreaded daily visit to your cubicle or office.
If you’ve noticed a decrease in your own job satisfaction, or your career goals seem to be slipping farther and farther out of reach, then you are among the ranks of thousands of others who are recognizing the need for a career transition. With the boom in demand for IT products and services, many people look to IT as the possible source of a new career that will increase their interest in going to work and help set them up for a sound retirement. And many people in IT jobs jump to different companies and IT disciplines than the ones where they started out. With proper planning and training, a career switch can become more than a fond daydream.
A recent post by Cisco Learning Network blogger Marcus Fan, expounds how we naturally want to see progress and growth in our lives. This often requires us to take a step back and examine our current career path. Is it getting us where we want to go?
“You might be proactively looking, weighing your options, passively looking, in between jobs or completely happy in your job,” Fan writes. “No matter where you’re at, it’s good to know what you’re worth.”
So how do you find out what you’re worth? Where do you turn to increase that worth? Fan has some words of encouragement about how a focus on improving yourself will set you apart from others and prepare you for the transition. To go along with that, here are some articles and resources that will be beneficial to those seeking to change career tracks.
— The Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook is a comprehensive guide to just about any job you may be interested in. It includes information on projected salary, required training and career outlook. You can even look specifically at its list of top computer and information technology occupations.
— For current information on tech jobs, and the ability to search for such jobs by skill or job title, check out IT-specific job search site Dice.com. The search tool on Dice.com will let you insert keywords and/or enter the zip code of the city you wish to work in.
— If you are looking for a computer IT graduate program that will help your new IT career get started on the right foot, review this list provided by U.S. News & World Report of the nation’s top online programs.
— Proper certification is increasingly important when looking into a tech career. This article written by Ed Tittel at tech site Tom’s IT Pro gives a good idea of where you can look for the best tech certifications both now and in the future.
— In making a career transition, there are a few things that you need to be wary of. In an article written for Forbes, Kathy Caprino provides advice and tells us about the mistakes that are easy to make when changing careers.
— Career counselors can be a valuable asset when making a transition. They are able to pull out your greatest ambitions and give you the advice and necessary encouragement to help you reach your goals. Consider getting coached by a professional from either NBCC or CACREP.
— A resource not to be overlooked is your alma mater. Look into the career services and networking opportunities provided by the school that gave you your degree.
If you are unhappy with the direction of your career, and you have been considering a transition for quite some time, then make today your day of decision. As Cisco’s Fan puts it: “One of the killers of success is procrastination. If you’re serious about making a change and/or exploring your options, then you need to commit to your desires.”